It has been a very busy couple of weeks. Lizz has spent plenty of time organizing the supply barn, sorting through plug flats to weed out the broken ones, and getting ready for the new supplies to arrive soon. It was a super big task and she did it with her usual class and smiles. Thank you, Lizz, for all that you do!
Chris has been finishing up the seed crop harvest, although there are still a few crops that will be ripening into early November. Many of the crops have finished ripening, and are picked harvested. Doug has been helping Chris bring in the seed harvest and deserves our great appreciation for all the fantastic help he has been giving us!
Now that a lot of the seed is harvested, Chris has begun the very big task of bagging it up and getting it ready to ship to our seed customer, Jelitto Perennial Seed Company (check out their website if you want a candy store approach to shopping for wonderful seed…they have so many cool seeds it will make your mouth water!). Once the seeds are all packed and ready, we will ship them off to Germany, home of Jelitto. All these paper sacks are filled with harvested seed!!
The last of our firewood delivery arrived this week. Now we are set for a cold winter of warm woodstove fires to read and drink hot chocolate by.
Speaking of which, this morning it was pretty chilly and our house furnace kicked on for the first time. We normally do not run the house furnace, and instead heat our house with wood. We do that for several reasons. Firstly, a wood fire feels warmer and more evenly distributed than the forced air furnace does, so we prefer the warmth from a wood fire. Secondly, wood is a renewable resource and natural gas is not, so we try to use as little fossil fuel on our farm as possible, meaning not running the house furnace unless it is absolutely necessary, and relying on the woodstove instead. Lastly, we do have to heat some of our greenhouses with natural gas, although some of them are heated with wood pellet heat, and that is extremely expensive!!! We try to offset a little of the greenhouse heating bill by not having a house natural gas heating bill.
Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked…this morning it was pretty chilly, so Gwenivere (our kitty) and I decided a small wood fire was in order to take the chill off the house. We lit a little fire during breakfast and it did the task of warming the house up beautifully. Gwenivere promptly took up her spot on the hearth rug to enjoy the fire.
Here is the photo of the eastern blue jays I hoped to get for the last post. They are comical as they crack the whole corn to get the germ out. Great fun to watch.
This gentleman was great fun too when I discovered him inside an empty greenhouse this week. I was walking about on the farm, stretching my legs a bit, and passed by the west end of the goldfish greenhouse, and caught sight of this buck halfway up the aisle of the house nibbling on some dry sunflower seed heads that had grown along the side wall inside the greenhouse this summer. He wasn’t very bothered by my being there and slowly made his way to the east end doorway. As soon as he stepped outside the door, he stopped and turned around to give me a smerky look, but stayed there in the doorway. He probably just went back inside to finish his snack as soon as I continued with my walk…that’s what I’m guessing anyway.
Now here is some very exciting news. This is the cover of my new book, The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener, which is due to be released by December 12, 2013. I’m so excited about this new book I can barely stand to wait until December!
This will be a wonderful book for food gardeners who are trying, or would like to try, to garden in harmony with nature. There are chapters on supporting the community of soil-dwelling creatures and microbes, pollinators and beneficial insects. I’m covered how to plant perennial food plants to act as the backbone to your annual vegetables in the garden, and which provide habitat to beneficial wildlife. I talk a lot about how to provide the crucial needs of wildlife in your garden landscape…food, water, protection, and places to create homes and raise young. There are chapters filled with useful tools for managing wildlife challenges too, like what to do when the deer insist they want to eat your salad lettuce;)
It is a really fun and engaging book and the illustrations are whimsical and beautiful. I know you are going to love this book as much as I do!
Later this week I plan to put up a post regarding a book sale event of all three of my books, Growing 101 Herbs That Heal (which is out of print, but I still have a few copies for sale), Homegrown Herbs (which continues to be a bestseller), and The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener. My hope is that folks will be interested in buying books directly from me, perhaps to use as gifts during this coming holiday season. Keep your eyes open for that post on how to buy books directly from me.
This was the beginning of my walk this morning down by the Arkansas River. It was peaceful and quiet, very chilly, and the autumn colors are beginning to look grand.